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Armagh. The justice of this decision was strongly impugned by Talbot, the titular Archbishop of Dublin, and he attri

pleased to take notice of a contention between the late Lord Primate, and the now Lord Archbishop of Dublin touching Precedency, and therein declar'd his Royall pleasure, and accordingly requir'd the Lord Deputy, and Councill here, to take due examination of the said difference viewing the Records, and hearing what wou'd be produc'd, and alledg'd on either side, and thereupon to sett down order for the speedy, and final ending of the same, that so the scandal arising upon such unseemly contention betwixt Prelats might be avoided, whereof nothing had been hitherto done in execution of his Majestie's commandment,

"And whereas his Majesty having in his High Wisdom, found reason to call a Parliament in this Kingdom, which is to be assembled the fourteenth day of July next, wherein as well the now Lord Primate the Lord Archbishop of Armagh, as also the Lord Archbishop of Dublin, must necessarily have many occasions to meet as well in the Parliament House, as in the Convocation House, and otherwise, and forasmuch as we hold it fitt, that before the publick meetings, there shou'd be an end put to that controversy to avoid the scandal, which may otherwise arise thereupon.

"We therefore by virtue of his Majesty's said Letter, called both the said Archbishops before us at this Board, where we have two several days taken due examination of the difference, and view'd the Records, and heard what wou'd be produc'd, and alledg'd on either side: Upon debate whereof, it appear'd as well by the testimony of Bernard, in the life of Malachias, as by the old Roman Provincialls and divers other evidences, that the See of Armagh hath from all antiquity been acknowledg'd to be the prime See of the whole Kingdom, and the Archbishop thereof reputed not a Provinciall Primate (as the other three Metropolitan are) but a National, that is to say, the sole Primate of Ireland, properly so called, which title hath hitherto in such a peculiar manner been attributed unto him, that he is thereby still vulgarly known, and distinguish'd from all the rest of the Archbishops of the land.

"And whereas in latter times, George Brown, Archbishop of Dublin had by sinister practice procur'd letters from King Edward the Sixth, for the transferring of the dignity of the Primacy of all Ireland from the See of Armagh to the See of Dublin, it appeared out of the Rolls of the Chancery that (complaint being thereof made by George Dowdall, Archbishop of Armagh), he did surrender the same, and upon the cancelling thereof, new Letters Patents issued under the Great Seal, bearing date the 12th day of March, in the first year of Queen Mary, wherein first it is declar'd, that the Archbishops of Armagh, since beyond the memory of man had enjoy'd the Dignity, and stile of the Primates of all Ireland: Secondly, both the Office and Title of the Primacy of all Ireland is restored, and confirmed to them for ever: Thirdly all other Archbishops, and Bishops are commanded to answer, and obey them in the exercise of said Office of Primacy.

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It was further also made manifest that in the succeeding days of Queen Elizabeth, the Archbishop of Dublin, (so long as he was not Keeper

buted it to the high favor in which Archbishop Ussher stood with Strafford, while, as we have already seen, the Presbyterian writers endeavour to prove that Archbishop Laud and Strafford were doing every thing to diminish the influence of Ussher, and establish Arminianism and Popery in Ireland.

of the Great Seal, or Chancellour) both at the Councill Board, and in the execution of the high Commission for Causes Ecclesiastical (even for such things, as did properly concern the Diocess of Dublin itself), did constantly subscribe after the Archbishop of Armagh, and Lastly as in the body of the Statute for the Erections of free Schools, in Parliament held at Dublin the twelfth year of Queen Elizabeth, the Archbishop of Armagh is nominated before the Archbishop of Dublin, so at the Parliament held at the same place in the seven and twentieth year of the said Queen of Famous Memory, where all the Archbishops and Bishops are rank'd in their order, Armagh was set down in the first place, and Dublin in the second, as the Parliament Roll exhibited unto us did most plainly testify.

"Upon all which, we conceive it to be very fit, and just, and accordingly do Order, Judge, and Decree, That the said Lord Archbishop of Armagh, and his Successors for ever, shall from time to time, and at all times hereafter, take place, and have Precedency, and be rank'd and inserted before the Lord Archbishop of Dublin, and his Successors, as well in the Parliament as in the Convocation-house, and in all other Meetings, and in all Commissions, and other Things whatsoever upon all occasions, wherein they shall be mentioned, either together, by themselves, or with others, and in all places, as well within the Diocese or Province of Dublin, as otherwise, until upon better matter to be shew'd on the part of the Lord Archbishop of Dublin, than hath hitherto been shew'd by him, it shall be adjudg'd otherwise by his Majesty or by this Board: Whereof we require as well the said Lord Archbishop of Dublin, as his Successors, and all others whom it may concern, from time to time to take notice, and to yield obedience thereunto accordingly.

"Given at her Majestys Castle of Dublin the six and twentieth day of June 1634."

At the same time it was determined, that the Archbishop of Armagh should have precedence of the Lord Chancellor, and in this respect be put upon an equality with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

f"Quia imperiosi Proregis Straffordi tanta fuit in Usserum propensio, ac contra Buckleanas partes pertinacia, tanta in consiliariis meticulosis ac illiteratis Proregi submissio, tanta adulatio ac linguæ Latinæ inscitia (unum si excipias Rapotensem, hunc vero minime competentem judicem fateberis, utpote Armacani suffraganeum) ut contra publica Cancellaria monumenta, et clarissimam D. Bernardi mentem, contra sententiam latam tempore Regis Jacobi, imo contra praxim ejusdem temporis iniquum fuerit decretum pro sede Armacana promulgatum."-Primat. Dublin. pag. 22.

The dispute thus settled in the Church of Ireland, was renewed by the titular bishops of the Roman Catholic Schism. Bishop Plunket published in 1672 a treatise with the title, "Jus Primatiale," which was answered by Bishop Talbot in a tract entitled, "Primatus Dubliniensis, vel summa Rationum, quibus innititur Ecclesia Dubliniensis in possessione, et prosecutione sui Juris ad Primatum Hiberniæ." The best treatise upon the subject was published in 1728 by Hugh Mac Mahons, Roman Catholic Archbishop in Armagh. He has exhausted the subject, and given a much more complete defence of the rights of the see than Archbishop Ussher".

A short time before this judgment was passed, Archbishop Ussher had consecrated Dr. John Bramhall Bishop of Derry, This distinguished ecclesiastic had been brought over to Ireland by Lord Strafford, and had been employed by him in the royal visitation of Ireland: but it does not appear whether he was one of the commissioners, that he was the chief director of the visitation is certain. His biographer, Bishop Vesey, says: "Ile was either one of his Majesties commissioners with Baron Hilton, Judge of the Prerogative, or such a Coadjutor that all was governed by his direction." The lamentable description he gave of the state of the Church, both as to spirituals and to temporals, belongs more to the general history of Ireland than to the Life of Archbishop Ussher, and I must proceed to give an account of the meeting of the Convocation in 1634.

8 The title of the work is "Jus Primatiale Armacanum in omnes Archiepiscopos, Episcopos, et universum Clerum totius Regni Hiberniæ, assertum per H. A. M. T. H. P." that is, Hugonem Armacanum Metropolitanum Totius Hiberniæ Primatem.

Mac Mahon states that the question had been finally settled at Rome: "Quibus utrinque æqua lance perpensis in sacro cœtu Cardinalium SS. Congregationis de propaganda fide, Secretarius Baldescus Archiepiscopus Cæsareæ, postea Cardinalis Colonna pronunciavit, L'Armacano sta a cavallo, id est, Armacani rationes prævalere. Aliquanto post utriusque partis iterum ventilatis accurate monumentis, et præmissa (ut consuevit) matura deliberatione SS. Congregatio, approbante Summo Pontifice, inseri mandavit officio S. Patricii ad 17. diem Martii hæc verba, Armacanam sedem Romani Pontificis authoritate totius insulæ principem Metropolitanum constituit."-Jus Primat. pag. 21.

At the commencement of the year 1634 the Lord Deputy addressed two letters, one to the King, detailing his reasons for wishing to call a Parliament, the other to the Archbishop of Canterbury, putting forward the lamentable state of the Church, and the necessity of establishing its agreement in doctrine and discipline with the Church of England. His Majesty consented, writing to Lord Strafford: "Upon these reasons alledged by you, and the confidence which we have, that you have well weighed all the circumstances mentioned by you, or otherwise necessary to the calling of a Parliament; and especially relying upon your faith and dexterity in managing so great a work for the good of our service; we are fully persuaded to condescend to the present calling of a Parliament, which accordingly we authorize and require you to do, and therein to make use of all the motives you here propound." The Lord Deputy considered the state of the Church so deplorable, that it was useless to attempt introducing a conformity in religion. with England, until "the decays of the material churches be repaired and an able clergy be provided." The Archbishop of Canterbury in reply most wisely recommends that he should set about "the repair of the material and spiritual church together.' The Lord Deputy took the advice, and set about the two important amendments. vigorously. He complains that he "finds all men utterly ignorant in the orders and forms to be observed in the meetings and sittings of Parliaments," and he requests that the Secretary will send him over all the necessary forms. The arrangements were made according to these forms, and writs issued for summoning a Convocation similar to those


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Strafford's Letters, vol. i. pag. 187.

* Nothing can be more melancholy than his statement: "An unlearned clergy, which have not so much as the outward form of churchmen to cover themselves with, nor their persons any way reverenced or protected; the churches unbuilt; the parsonage and vicarage houses utterly ruined; the people untaught thorough the non-residency of the clergy, occasioned by the unlimited shameful numbers of spiritual promotions with cure of souls, which they hold by commendams; the rites and ceremonies of the church run over without all decency of habit, order or gravity, in the course of their service; the possessions of the church to a

made use of in England. On the 14th of July the Parliament assembled, and in great state proceeded with the Lord Deputy to St. Patrick's Cathedral, where the Archbishop of Armagh preached before them on the text, "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and to him shall the gathering of the people be." On the meeting of the Convocation Dean Lesley was chosen Prolocutor of the Lower House. The great difficulty which presented itself was the supposed attachment of the Primate to the Articles of 1615, which were principally, if not entirely drawn up by him. Lord Strafford says, in a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury: "It is true my Lord Primate seemed to disallow these articles of Ireland but when it comes to the upshot, I cannot find he doth it so absolutely as I expected. Some little trouble there hath been in it, and we are all bound not to advertise it over, hoping among ourselves to reconcile it." The Archbishop in answer says: "Im knew how you would find my Lord Primate affected to the articles of Ireland, but I am glad the trouble that hath been in it will end there without advertising it over to us." Lord Strafford's determination, which received the approbation of the King and the Archbishop of Canterbury, was "to have the articles of England received in ipsissimis verbis, leaving the other as no ways concerned in the state they now are, either affirmed or disaffirmed." Some letters of the Lord Deputy have been lost, which would throw considerable light upon the proceedings, that took place before the open

great proportion in lay hands; the Bishops aliening their very principal houses and demesnes to their children, to strangers; farming out the jurisdictions to mean and unworthy persons; the Popish titulars exercising the whilst a foreign jurisdiction much greater than theirs. The schools which might be a means to season the youth in virtue and religion, either ill provided, ill governed in the most part, or which is worse applied sometimes underhand to the maintenance of Popish schoolmasters. Lands given to these charitable uses, and that in bountiful proportion, especially by King James of ever blessed memory, dissipated, leased forth for little or nothing, concealed contrary to all conscience and the excellent purpose of the founders."-Strafford's Letters, vol. i. pag. 187, 188. Strafford's Letters, vol. i. pag. 298. m Ibid. pag. 329. "Ibid pag. 298.

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